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Disqualifications

Posted by Dan, Student on team #10, BSM, from Benilde-St. Margaret's and Banner Engineering.

Posted on 2/27/99 4:22 PM MST



2 separate disqualifications just happened at the CA regional. Both were in the elimination matches. One was an "unsportsmanlike conduct" call for intentional tipping (Gunn Robotics Team and Napa Crusher alliance I think) and the other was because a human player grabbed a floppy from their robot which in turn pulled the robot towards him - thus disqualifying the alliance. DQs are pretty stupid (but necessary), BOTH teams got no points but the disqualified team lost 0-0.
Would this same situation occur in the qualifying matches? That would mean if my opponent was disqualified, I would get a score of zero with the mere incentive of a win (with no qualifying points). I'm pretty sure I'm wrong . .maybe they don't count that match for or against the team whose opponent was disqualified. :-Dan


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Judges playing it safe?

Posted by Ben Chui, Other on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Gunn High School (CAL Berkeley) and Xerox PARC / NASA AMES.

Posted on 2/28/99 1:13 AM MST


In Reply to: Disqualifications posted by Dan on 2/27/99 4:22 PM MST:



I was pretty disappointed to see 192's robot DQ'd in the semifinal round. Here is my viewpoint of what happened: 192 (Gunn High "G-Force&quot was trapped behind the puck on the wrong side of the playing field. They were attempting to get on the puck f
or the triple points (being the only direction that they could go, anyways). One of the opponent robots was trying to get on the puck as well, apparently. G-Force was the only robot at the West Regional that used a lever arm... and thus they used it to
block above the puck. The other robot had the _entire_ playing field behind them to back up as they attempted to elevate to 8ft in the last seconds. G-force was waving its arm over the puck with _zero_ ground velocity (it was cornered!). The opponent r
an into the waving arm toppled over. Hmmm... very interesting call after that one. We (I am a T192 vet) came to the conclusion that a) the judges want to strictly regulate at the regionals, and/or b) the judges misunderstand the design of our robot (bei
ng the only robot with a robust arm amongst a crowd of elevators, we have a distinct advantage).

I started FIRST in '97 with Toroid Terror, and I have seen many instances of seemingly "arbitrary" judging:
in 97 our robot was _forklifted_ 2+ ft into a
tangled mess in the tree (no judgement)
in 98: NASA Team 122 vs PCHS Delphi... nothing if not beligerent behavior (no DQ) (can't say I wasn't pleased though... sorry)
and now this. There were 2 DQ's in the semifinal rounds. G-Force's DQ contribut
ed to their eventual loss. I'm wondering if the other one did as well. Sounds kinda lame to me if both finals competitors' came from beating DQ'd opponents
Interesting to note: the west coast finalist alliances both sported identical robots... som
e robotic darwinism at work?

I'd like to hear some opinions! especially from eyewitnesses...

I am a Gunn Robotics Team veteran... now going to Berkeley and studying Mechanical Engineering. I am nothing if not a product of FIRST's objective... after t
he '97 competition I was sure. Never looked back! (except in longing to be back in high school... building awesome robots... yeah... Nothing comes close in college so far... whine whine... I still go back and cheer my team!!!)

Thanks for reading my th
oughts.


: 2 separate disqualifications just happened at the CA regional. Both were in the elimination matches. One was an "unsportsmanlike conduct" call for intentional tipping (Gunn Robotics Team and Napa Crusher alliance I think) and the other w
as because a human player grabbed a floppy from their robot which in turn pulled the robot towards him - thus disqualifying the alliance. DQs are pretty stupid (but necessary), BOTH teams got no points but the disqualified team lost 0-0.
: Would thi
s same situation occur in the qualifying matches? That would mean if my opponent was disqualified, I would get a score of zero with the mere incentive of a win (with no qualifying points). I'm pretty sure I'm wrong . .maybe they don't count that match f
or or against the team whose opponent was disqualified. :-Dan


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Re: Judges playing it safe?

Posted by Mike King, Other on team #88, TJē, from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 2/28/99 9:42 AM MST


In Reply to: Judges playing it safe? posted by Ben Chui on 2/28/99 1:13 AM MST:



: Interesting to note: the west coast finalist alliances both sported identical robots... some robotic darwinism at work?

Not sure if you caught this. But Broadway high school fielded two teams at the competiion. And they both ended up in the finals on opposing teams. I'm not sure how similar each robot was to each other (i can't see how you can build two robots in the same school, never mind how you could keep them secret from each other)

I thought it was kinda neat that matter which team won, Broadway would have a feather in their hat. Congradualtions, for fielding not one, but two finalist teams.

Mike


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Re: Judges playing it safe?

Posted by Jason, Coach on team #252/254, Bay Bombers/Cheesy Poofs, from Broadway High and NASA Ames.

Posted on 2/28/99 11:59 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Mike King on 2/28/99 9:42 AM MST:



: : Interesting to note: the west coast finalist alliances both sported identical robots... some robotic darwinism at work?

: Not sure if you caught this. But Broadway high school fielded two teams at the competiion. And they both ended up in the finals on opposing teams. I'm not sure how similar each robot was to each other (i can't see how you can build two robots in the same school, never mind how you could keep them secret from each other)

: I thought it was kinda neat that matter which team won, Broadway would have a feather in their hat. Congradualtions, for fielding not one, but two finalist teams.

: Mike


Thanks Mike,

Let me explain the two robots deal real quick. We are a rookie team
who knew since last years National Championships that we were going to
compete this year. Our kids have been fundraising (car washes, painting
apartments, raffles, etc...)to try to send all seven kids to Florida this
year. Our team - Bay Bombers, spent the whole year preparing for this
years competition.

FIRST & NASA Ames have been trying really hard all year to get more
Western US schools involved. NASA Ames helped sponsor a number of teams,
a few of these schools knew nothing about FIRST or the competition until
2-3 weeks before the Manchester Kick-Off.

Our school is a continuation school, so being a part of an academic
competition like this is somehting most of our students never thought they
were capable of. NASA really liked the impact this program was having on
the previously labeled "high risk" students at our school and wanted to
get other disadvantaged/continuation/high risk schools involved - but it
was very last minute.

Originally, a very small school in San Jose named The Foundry was going
to have a team- but once they realized how late in the game it was, and
really found out how much time & work would be required in the next 6 weeks
they dropped out. Another school, Blackford High, had inquired about a
much smaller NASA program called BOTBALL that very week and was told of
the FIRST competition and that a team had dropped out last minute. They
are the other continuation school in this area. They were very skeptical
of entering with no preparation and with no organized team. In considering
to enter or not, they called me and asked if they could come observe our
team and our program - to talk to our kids and see if they felt the could
do it.

They decided to enter. However, immediately after the kick off, they
realized how behind they were. They had no engineer, only 3 kids, one teacher,
no funds, and were going to drop out. They and NASA asked if we could help
them out to try to keep them involved, get their school interest up, and most
importantly keep them entered so they would learn the ropes this year and
be able to have a team again next year. We are a rookie team ourself with
only 7 students, one teacher, and two engineer who volunteer 2 days a week
to help us out. The last thing we ever wanted was to double our workload &
responsibility. We were going to schools like Gunn and Palo Alto for mentorship
to try to get through our rookie year, and now we were going to be mentoring
another school. So that is how the second team, #254 - Broadway / Blackford
high, the Cheesy Poofs team with the robot CARTMAN came to be.

After the first week of our students debating different designs and ideas,
we decided on what became the BAY BOMBER. The partnership team had a very funky
and bizare concept that was very complicated. In the second week we realized
that we were in totally over our heads in this. We, #252, didn't even know if
we could build one robot, let alone two. The second team, #254, was very
seriously going drop out in the second week. I knew FIRST & NASA had put a lot
of work into growing the NASA regional and didn't want to drop out. We decided
to just build a similar robot to team #252, with a few minor changes and ideas
along the way.

The kids were on two seperate teams, 4 of our kids building the 252 robot with our
two engineers.

3 of our kids, 3 blackford kids, their teacher & I, along with an engineer who
volunteered last minute building the #254 robot. Clearly the two teams worked
together and helped each other out a lot, but that was a positive. Two schools,
both with kids that would otherwise never get along, working together day and
night to try to achieve something most people around here didn't think they could do.
On the secret thing, you are right. There was no attempt to keep the teams secret
from each other. We have no funding nd only few tools, with no shop and no machines,
so we had to share the tools and materials we had. The #254 robot NEVER worked until
last Monday at 4:22 AM. And it malfunctioned and did not work for the first 3 matches
in the qualifying round. One student inparticular stayed in the pit the entire day just
working on the electrical wiring. Fixed it, and got the #254 robot working great.
That was the student you might have seen crying in the middle of of the field after
they won. He has never put as much time or effort into anything academic in his life
(he was in gangs just 1 year ago, has never been on a plane, and has worked his butt
off just to go to Florida - to be onthe team he had to get his attendance over 90% and
have all A's & B's this year, he is now on the school honor roll and a true FIRST
success story).
The other NASA AMES regional teams will tell you, our kids were working non stop just to
try to get our robot working each round. Both Thursday & Friday Night we were the last team
to leave the arena. They stayed to work on the robots until they were kicked out each night.

While I am so proud of both teams, and both groups of students, I think it is important that
people know this. We are a rookie team, we worked horrifying hours to get a working robot
just like I know every other team did. But believe me when I say IT NEVER, I MEAN NEVER,
CROSSED OUR MINDS THAT WE MIGHT WIN THE COMPETITION. IT WAS NEVER EVEN A GOAL. We thought
the #252 team might be able to finish in the top half. our goal for the #254 team was just to
be able to compete and not come in last with all the problems we were having. We never entered
this competition for any other reason to get this kids to work harder than they ever had before
and to be a part of something academic & advanced so they could see their own potential. I can
honestly say each team competed entirely seperate. (in fact, they were in one qualifying match
against each other. If anyone wonders if our teams worked together or not just look at the video-
team #252 was knocked over and almost broke. The kids are very competitive with each other)

Neither team could have advanced in the playoffs if it wasn't for the wonderful allies that they
had. They were in totally seperate brackets and both had great matches to get to the finals.
The odds on them both making the finals had to be astronomical (I'm no math wiz, but I'm sure some
of you could figure it out.) It was truly a cinderella story. We never even thought about it.
It was just a wonderful surprise. It would have been a great experience even if neither team made
the playoffs.

I hope that answers the question about why the 2 teams. I could understand the
confusion if we were some veteran team with great resources and so on had 2 teams.
But we were just a rookie team trying to help another disadvantaged school in an
effort to get as many kids as possible involved in this incredible program and
an attempt to get another school involed. Next year we will have our 252 team,
and Blackford will have their own team. We DON'T WANT to be a part of two teams.
It was just extra work, time, stress, and frustration that we gave ourselves - and
as you all know, trying to build one robot provides enough of that to last a year.

Thanks to all the NASA AMES teams that were so fun to work with and talk to.

Good Luck to everyone in their regionals.

Jason
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Hats Off to Jason and Crew(s)

Posted by Dodd Stacy, Engineer on team #95, Lebanon Robotics Team, from Lebanon High School and CRREL/CREARE.

Posted on 2/28/99 12:38 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Jason on 2/28/99 11:59 AM MST:



Jason,

You and your small band of coaches and your two tiny teams of just-won't-quit students have my admiration and respect. Congratulations, you've all pulled off an amazing feat. And thanks for your thorough posts - they're a great read, and they really tell the story. Well done, 254 and 252.

Dodd


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True meaning of first.

Posted by Mike King, Other on team #88, TJē, from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 2/28/99 5:59 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Jason on 2/28/99 11:59 AM MST:



You guys are the reason I believe FIRST is such a great program.
I'm really at a loss for words.

Once again, Congradulations

Mike
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Success has many faces

Posted by Andy Grady, Coach on team #42, P.A.R.T.S, from Alvirne High School and Daniel Webster College.

Posted on 2/28/99 7:18 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Jason on 2/28/99 11:59 AM MST:



I am very glad to have heard that story. Both teams did a great job and deserve the biggest congrats they can get. They are winners not just for being champions, or finallists, but just for how they got there. These teams are a near perfect example of what makes this program great.
Good Luck to all,
Andy Grady



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Re: Judges playing it safe?

Posted by Jason, Coach on team #252/254, Bay Bombers/Cheesy Poofs, from Broadway High and NASA Ames.

Posted on 2/28/99 10:44 PM MST


In Reply to: Judges playing it safe? posted by Ben Chui on 2/28/99 1:13 AM MST:



: I was pretty disappointed to see 192's robot DQ'd in the semifinal round. Here is my viewpoint of what happened: 192 (Gunn High "G-Force&quot was trapped behind the puck on the wrong side of the playing field. They were attempting to get on the puck for the triple points (being the only direction that they could go, anyways). One of the opponent robots was trying to get on the puck as well, apparently. G-Force was the only robot at the West Regional that used a lever arm... and thus they used it to block above the puck. The other robot had the _entire_ playing field behind them to back up as they attempted to elevate to 8ft in the last seconds. G-force was waving its arm over the puck with _zero_ ground velocity (it was cornered!). The opponent ran into the waving arm toppled over. Hmmm... very interesting call after that one. We (I am a T192 vet) came to the conclusion that a) the judges want to strictly regulate at the regionals, and/or b) the judges misunderstand the design of our robot (being the only robot with a robust arm amongst a crowd of elevators, we have a distinct advantage).

: I started FIRST in '97 with Toroid Terror, and I have seen many instances of seemingly "arbitrary" judging:
: in 97 our robot was _forklifted_ 2+ ft into a tangled mess in the tree (no judgement)
: in 98: NASA Team 122 vs PCHS Delphi... nothing if not beligerent behavior (no DQ) (can't say I wasn't pleased though... sorry)
: and now this. There were 2 DQ's in the semifinal rounds. G-Force's DQ contributed to their eventual loss. I'm wondering if the other one did as well. Sounds kinda lame to me if both finals competitors' came from beating DQ'd opponents
: Interesting to note: the west coast finalist alliances both sported identical robots... some robotic darwinism at work?

: I'd like to hear some opinions! especially from eyewitnesses...

: I am a Gunn Robotics Team veteran... now going to Berkeley and studying Mechanical Engineering. I am nothing if not a product of FIRST's objective... after the '97 competition I was sure. Never looked back! (except in longing to be back in high school... building awesome robots... yeah... Nothing comes close in college so far... whine whine... I still go back and cheer my team!!!)

: Thanks for reading my thoughts.


Ben,

Wanted to clear up one or two things from our match yesterday. It was a very close call and it was an unfortunate situation because no matter what they decided,
one team would have been undeserving of a loss in that match.

Since the puck was up against the controller station, I know it was hard for the audience to actually see what happened. Most of your points are valid, except for two.

First - Gunn was already completely on the Puck and was not trapped or trying to get on - they had complete control of the Puck and a triple.

Second - Our robot was not trying to get on the puck. We can't. Our robot is not designed for that - only pole grabbing (which your team was aware of since we had teamed together in the qualifying round and won with a huge score)
We had backed off the puck and were no longer pushing it.
We stopped, raised our floppies, and 20 seconds after we backed off the puck we were tipped. It was all done in the heat of battle I understand, I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of the circumstances that led to the DQ.

We have the utmost respect for your team. And don't forget, we are one of the teams who refused to sign the petition which was passed around objecting to
your robot in the middle of the qualifying rounds. And I still would refuse.

regardless, you guys are an incredible team, with great sportsmanship shown by
your students and coaches. I know you guys didn't agree with the decision, and were obviously disappointed. Yet after the finals some of your team members and a coach (all seperately and clearly on their own) came up to us, congratulated us, and shook my hand. Gunn not only designs and creates incredible robots each year, but more importantly is a team of class and respect.

If we don't have the opportunity to ally with Woodside again in the Nationals, there is no team we would rather be teamed with than Gunn. If we can't make the playoffs at Epcot (and the odds are we won't) than I hope you do - you guys deserve it.

Anyway, this will be my last posting regarding this. There are so many ways this competition is rewarding. Every team has so many things to be proud of and to look back on regardless of their seeding or finish.

Speaking of which, congratulations to you. my sister went to Cal and I know how hard it is to get into and what a great school it is. You should be proud - of getting into CAL and of being a "product of FIRST" as you put it. It's great that you still come back and show your support - that shows just how valuable and rewarding the competition is.

Hope to see you at future competitions,

Jason


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Re: Judges playing it safe?

Posted by Brad Pflum, Coach on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Gunn High School and Nasa Ames, Sun Microsystems.

Posted on 3/1/99 8:28 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Jason on 2/28/99 10:44 PM MST:



: Since the puck was up against the controller station, I know it was hard for the audience to actually see what happened. Most of your points are valid, except for two.

The Video i'll be posting has a very clear shot.

: First - Gunn was already completely on the Puck and was not trapped or trying to get on - they had complete control of the Puck and a triple.

False. WE WERE NOT ON THE PUCK, nor did we control it. G-Force was only able to get on the puck when bay bomber stopped pinning us into the wall. It just so happens that bay bomber only stopped pinning when they fell over.

: Second - Our robot was not trying to get on the puck. We can't. Our robot is not designed for that - only pole grabbing (which your team was aware of since we had teamed together in the qualifying round and won with a huge score)
: We had backed off the puck and were no longer pushing it.
: We stopped, raised our floppies, and 20 seconds after we backed off the puck we were tipped. It was all done in the heat of battle I understand, I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of the circumstances that led to the DQ.

Untrue. bomber was pushing into the puck with all it's might untill the very ewnd when it drove it's base out from under itself. bay bomber is a pole grabber, and as such there was no reason for it to be at the puck other then to be pinning us - one pole was occupied by our ally and the other was completly unreachable. nevertheless, bay bomber continued to power into the puck through the entire second half of the match - they were still flooring it into us when they were raising their basket.

I'm sorry jason, but you're just wrong about those two (critical) points. You, and everyone else for that matter, will be able to see this when i get that video up.

: We have the utmost respect for your team. ...

Your team is amazing. your sucess is a perfect example of why FIRST is so great. I hope our teams can work together more in the future.

Which is why i'm not upset about our loss. i just want YOU to know that it was an unintensional tip. The two points you've been clinging to are just plain wrong. you'll see in the video. we were not on the puck. you never backed off.

if you ever need anything, you know who to call.
-Brad
Senior at Gunn High School
Co-Captain and Coach, Gunn Robotics Team

P.S. - gimme an e-mail and i'll try to get you going with a "real" fundraising program. you guys should be buiilding robots, not washing cars.


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What's this about a petition?

Posted by Mike King, Other on team #88, TJē, from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 3/1/99 8:17 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Judges playing it safe? posted by Jason on 2/28/99 10:44 PM MST:



Without naming names, please fill the rest of us in.

Mike




: We have the utmost respect for your team. And don't forget, we are one of the teams who refused to sign the petition which was passed around objecting to
: your robot in the middle of the qualifying rounds. And I still would refuse.

: regardless, you guys are an incredible team, with great sportsmanship shown by
: your students and coaches.



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Re: What's this about a petition?

Posted by Kyle Huang, Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Gunn High School and Nasa Ames, Sun Microsystems, Xerox.

Posted on 3/2/99 12:35 AM MST


In Reply to: What's this about a petition? posted by Mike King on 3/1/99 8:17 PM MST:



: Without naming names, please fill the rest of us in.

I believe i can fill in the blanks about this petition. After the first day
at the West Coast Regional at Nasa/Ames, one team was apparently very angry
at us (Gunn Robotics Team) because they thought we were being too rough. So
they decided to pass around a petition to all the teams in an attempt to
get our team kicked out of the competition - they failed. I don't know
exactly how many teams actually signed the petition.

I'm a first year member at GRT, so i've never been to florida. But from what
I hear, FIRST sees the competition like a game of rugby - a full contact
sport. The way i see this petition, is a rookie team wasn't ready for what
this competition was really going to be like. They didn't think it would be
anything close to a rough sport, so they got a little upset. So if they
think our robot was rough, they'll have a helluva shock when they get to
florida! Even so, i don't think it was good sportsmanship to pass around
a petition like this one.

I can't wait to get to florida - see you all there!!!


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Re: Rugby?

Posted by Mrs. Trax, Engineer on team #180, S.P.A.M., from Martin Co. HS & South Fork HS and UTC/Pratt & Whitney, FL.

Posted on 3/7/99 5:07 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: What's this about a petition? posted by Kyle Huang on 3/2/99 12:35 AM MST:



My impression, after the Florida Regional, is that the game is more like
soccer than rugby. There's no problem in pushing your way around but
"intentional tripping" is a big no-no. There's a very thin line between
being tenacious and obnoxious. It might be a good idea in the future to
count disqualifications - 3 strikes, you're out. It isn't fair to alliance
partners to loose points because of an habitual offender. This is the rule
in professional sports. Why not here? We all know what happened to Mike
Tyson when he got too aggressive.


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Re: Disqualifications

Posted by Justin of team #146, Team Blue Lightning, from West High sponsored by Public Service Company of New Hampshire.

Posted on 2/28/99 3:37 PM MST


In Reply to: Disqualifications posted by Dan on 2/27/99 4:22 PM MST:



: 2 separate disqualifications just happened at the CA regional. Both were in the elimination matches. One was an "unsportsmanlike conduct" call for intentional tipping (Gunn Robotics Team and Napa Crusher alliance I think) and the other was because a human player grabbed a floppy from their robot which in turn pulled the robot towards him - thus disqualifying the alliance. DQs are pretty stupid (but necessary), BOTH teams got no points but the disqualified team lost 0-0.
: Would this same situation occur in the qualifying matches? That would mean if my opponent was disqualified, I would get a score of zero with the mere incentive of a win (with no qualifying points). I'm pretty sure I'm wrong . .maybe they don't count that match for or against the team whose opponent was disqualified. :-Dan

I don't know about anyone else but I couldn't beleive the disqualifications.
I was pretty ticked at them as a matter of fact, of course I'm biased because I was
routing for Napa+Gunn, but hey. The first thing I thought was dam I've never
seen that before. I can't remember a time at either, the NE regionals, or the Nationals
when a team was disqualified for tipping, perhaps I'm wrong on that but in any
case it was the first time I've seen it. The way I think tipping should be handled
is that pretty much anything goes despite chainsaws, missles, etc. I mean come
on it's the Finals....build your machine to take it and suck things up or move on.
I guess many will feel that's a pretty harsh view but I think that FIRST
is a full contact sport and people like to see tipping. Of course our robot
could take a tip or two so that's another bias. In anycase that's my two
cents worth. Do what you will with it.

See you all in CT or FL,

-Justin


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Re: Disqualifications

Posted by Jason, Coach on team #252/254, Bay Bombers/Cheesy Poofs, from Broadway High and NASA Ames.

Posted on 2/28/99 10:01 PM MST


In Reply to: Disqualifications posted by Dan on 2/27/99 4:22 PM MST:



: 2 separate disqualifications just happened at the CA regional. Both were in the elimination matches. One was an "unsportsmanlike conduct" call for intentional tipping (Gunn Robotics Team and Napa Crusher alliance I think) and the other was because a human player grabbed a floppy from their robot which in turn pulled the robot towards him - thus disqualifying the alliance. DQs are pretty stupid (but necessary), BOTH teams got no points but the disqualified team lost 0-0.
: Would this same situation occur in the qualifying matches? That would mean if my opponent was disqualified, I would get a score of zero with the mere incentive of a win (with no qualifying points). I'm pretty sure I'm wrong . .maybe they don't count that match for or against the team whose opponent was disqualified. :-Dan

I already posted some of this under the other forum, but it applies to
this discussion, so here it is again, with a little added.

In regards to the first disqualification, I agree it was a bad call. The
match where the human player for Monte Vista reached over the field, grabbed
a floppy in their robot and pulled the robot towards him, was a penalty.
My understanding was that they have flags and can give either warnings or
point penalties, or a disqualification. They (refs)didn't discuss or
decide the disqualification until after the match was over - it's not
like they just stopped the match. But what no one seems to be aware of
except for the teams in the match is this - The disqualification was
meaningless - the Monte Vista team had lost the match on points anyway.
FIRST should have recognized this - especially being the semis, and given
a warning or penalty or whatever they deemed appropriate. But by making
the match a 0-0 disqualification win, it made it look like the winning
team won because of the the refs decision, which was not the case. It
made the victory for that alliance (in that match at least) a little less
rewarding, because everyone would agree you would rather be recognized for
winning in a complete and fair match, not because of a refs decision if it
can be avoided.

On the other disqualification:

We just finished the Western Regional (NASA Ames) today - and the tipping
issue ended up being very important. we had a total of twelve matches
in the qualifying round (about 30 schools showed up)and 7 matches in the
playoffs - and were personally involved in 4 tippings, our robot being
tipped three times. I think our experience is important because it
showed every aspect of tipping.

Once we were totally responsible for tipping - driver and controller error.

Once we were fully extended over 8ft, but were unable to properly ground
ourself. However, we engaged another robot which was on the puck, it
turned to defend itself, rammed our robot, and tipped us over and out of
the field. As far as I'm concerned, even though it cost us a match, it
was legal and acceptable because we were engaging them and trying to gain
control of the puck.

Once, in the semi's, GUNN was on the puck and controlled it. We were unable
to latch onto the pole, so decided to back away from the puck and raise
our floppies. The robot on the puck waited until we extended, then moved
their arms under our basket, and intentionally tipped us over with 3
seconds left in the match (in a slow motion moment of agony, I don't
think our robot actually thumped to the floor until well after the match
had ended.) They were disqualified by the judges for unsportsmanlike
conduct. The reasoning was this:
they were on the puck & no longer trying to get on, we had backed off and
were not engaging them, we were no longer pushing the puck and neither was
GUNN, we were not controlling anything they would want, and there was
absolutely no threat to them or their position. So with the above
conditions, it was clear that there was ONLY ONE intention with their action
- to tip us. Also, if it matters, our alliance did have that match won
on points if they had not tipped us.

The officials said that was not in the spirit of the game and would not
and could not be allowed - because it would have set the standard so to
speak at the rest of the regionals after ours basically allowing
teams to batter and injure others.

Trust me, as with every team, we know our robot better than anyone.
If you watch the video, you will see that we (as we did in all
the playoff matches) backed away from the puck before raising and remained
in that spot. Some may have had their a bad angle, but we were not trying
to push the puck or engage the Gunn robot once we backed off and raised our
floppies. If we had been (knowing the risk of tipping) then we would
accept the tipping just as we did the other 2 times it happened to us with
no complaints.

It was unfortunate, because they are a great veteran team and throughout
the competition all of our best and most competitive matches involved
their team (both allied with us, and against us) Even before the playoffs
and everything, our two teams communicated a lot and they went out of
their way to answer any questions we had and/or help us. Our students
look up to and admire their team (they have actually been the model I
have used for the past 2 months as to what level our students should try
to reach within a year or so. We actually wanted to be in an alliance
with them in the playoffs, and would gladly be allied with Gunn in Florida
if we got the chance. They have a great robot and a great team!

After much thought and discussion, I really do think the refs made
the right call in each above case (the two decisions against us and
the two in our favor) I would love to hear other opinions about the
above situations. Difference of opinion is good. I don't fault anyone
who wants intentional tipping to be a part of the game (it is exciting
to watch). FIRST just said they didn't want it to be a part of this
year's game. Not ALL tipping, just 100% intentional tipping with no other
strategic purpose involved.

Also, in response to another reply, we did build a strong robot that can
take the fall. We fell 3 times form 9 feet high and were able to go
on each time. ( not that we weren't holding our breath each time)

Anyway, since we were part of the situation that has led to this
discussion in both forums, I just wanted to give my two cents worth.

Good Luck to everyone!!!!! We look forward to seeing
you all in Florida and hopefully getting to ally with as many of you
as possible.

Jason Morrella,


Broadway High
San Jose, CA


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